The Government has announced that it is ready to serve hajj pilgrimage this year.
“I just held a meeting with the President, together with several ministers including the Head of the Hajj Financial Management Agency (BPKH) Anggito Abhimanyu, regarding the preparation for the Hajj pilgrimage. The focal point is that the Government is ready to serve pilgrims starting from their departure until they return home. We have prepared a scheme from A to Z,” said Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas in a press statement after a limited meeting, Tuesday (05/17).
One of the schemes prepared is related to the health protocols for organizing the pilgrimage during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister emphasized that the pilgrims must have received full dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before departure.
“This provision must be fulfilled by the pilgrims if they want to go to the Holy Land. We have been working on this, trying to make sure that all hajj pilgrims who will go to Saudi Arabia already have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.
Yaqut also emphasized the Saudi Arabian Government’s policy, which regulates that pilgrim candidates this year must be under 65 years of age.
“The Government surely will follow this regulation because if the pilgrim is more than 65 years old, their system will automatically reject it. So the restriction (age) of 65 years is a condition set by the Government of Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Regarding the financing of the Hajj pilgrimage, Yaqut said that the Hajj Organizing Cost (BPIH) was different from the Hajj Travel Cost (Bipih). The BPIH is higher than the actual cost that must be paid by pilgrims.
“The actual cost of organizing the Hajj is higher than the cost that must be paid by the pilgrims,” he said.
On that occasion, Yaqut also denied the hoax saying that the Government uses the Hajj funds for other purposes, such as building the new Capital (IKN).
“That is absolutely not true. In fact, the Government gives subsidy to the pilgrims so that the cost that must be paid by the pilgrims is lower than the actual costs,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Head of the Hajj Financial Management Agency (BPKH) Anggito Abimanyu explained that according to the agreement between the Government and the House of Representatives, the cost that must be paid for each pilgrim is around Rp39.9 million, while the actual cost required is Rp81.7 million.
“We have prepared Rp81.7 million per person or Rp7.5 trillion in total for the Hajj pilgrimage. The pilgrims pay around Rp39.9 million per person, so it is in accordance with what is set by the Government and had approved by the House,” said Anggito.
He also emphasized that all costs for organizing this year’s pilgrimage had been prepared in both Rupiah and Riyal currencies.
“We are ready to transfer the funds to the Government of Saudi Arabia for hotel, catering and transportation services through Ministry of Religious Affairs,” said Anggito. (TGH/FID/UN) (EST/MUR)